Launching iTunes in Russia was sure to result in a few bumps in the road for Apple, but Cupertino probably wasn’t expecting anything like this. Users that tried to check out the iTunes store found the software was displaying some fairly explicit adult content rather than mainstream video and music. It turns out it’s all because of those pesky .XXX top level domains.
There were no sites that ended in .XXX (instead of say, .com) until just recently. ICANN approved the .XXX domain for adult content usage beginning in September of 2011, and many companies have taken advantage of it. There are plenty of .XXX domains already registered, and one of them is apparently XXX.XXX. Can you see where this is going?
The Russian iTunes software was created with URL placeholders in exactly that format: xxx.xxx. A few years ago, that wouldn’t have gone anywhere. Now it resolves to hardcore Internet porn, which results in Apple’s iTunes software suddenly becoming filled with ads for all manner of lascivious pornography. Users began gleefully taking screenshots and spreading the good news almost immediately.
As you would expect, Apple shifted into damage control mode when the error was discovered. The Russian iTunes was taken down, and many other regions are experiencing outages as well. This may or may not be related.
If nothing else, Apple has learned a valuable lesson: the Internet is a big place, and no matter how much you want to pretend otherwise, most of it is porn.
via 9 to 5 Mac